unnamedby Don Franks

(dedicated with respect to Pike River miners and their families)

On Mayday, get your old flag out
unwrap each dusty fold
pour the cold beer, find some young ear
to hear your stories told
how we used to put a blue on
downloadhow we boxed the place up tight
saw the scabs off, held the picket line
stood tall through all the shite
just remember while you party on
until the dawn shall break
there’s twenty-nine wait patiently
wait for their class to wake

Dream you saw Joe Hill last night
if it makes you feel ok
sing Solidarity Forever
in the good old union way
the Internationale is another rousing thing
come nineteenth of November
what will you find to sing?
if you want your title Union
ringing real and not fake,
twenty-nine’s still down there
waiting for their class to wake

  1. Jim Walker says:

    I was 19 years old at Glenbrook Steel Mill 1st stage construction of the mill 1966/69.
    I became an iron worker and worked with the great trade unionists boiler makers, riggers. Men who came here to built the Auckland Harbour Bridge from shipyards in the U.K. And brought there union working class with them.
    From there to Kawerau building paper mills.
    The great trade unionists Johnny Doran from Manchester who was job chairman on these massive construction sites. A fantastic union man adored by the working men.
    What an exsperance total worker control and the best construction jobs ever in this country.
    Most of the men have passed on now.

  2. Don Franks (@jilldon2) says:

    Would like to hear more about Johnny Doran. I was fortunate to be mentored by Con Devitt, who was totally about worker control from the bottom up. When he heard I’d been elected as a young union delegate Con took me to Boilermakers meetings so I could see how the culture operated. Also met Black Jock, who was up at the mills in those days. Many things need to be relearned now I think.